Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, has disclosed plans by the Federal Government’s to collaborate with the Government of the Netherlands on improved seeds/seedlings to boost food production in the country.

The minister disclosed this during a courtesy visit by a delegation of private investors, led by   the Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Marion Kappeyne, in Abuja.

Bemoaning the over $60 million that Nigeria spends on fish importation annually, Ogbeh urged the Netherlands government to further support the country in areas of research, cattle breeding and aquaculture.

He said the ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, had set up agro rangers to provide security for Nigerian farmers as part of the government’s commitment to create an enabling environment for both public and private sectors in the agricultural sector.

The Netherlands’ Ambassador, Kappeyne said the delegation was in the ministry to explore areas of collaboration for the development of the agricultural sector.

He hinted that areas of collaboration would include improved seeds, horticulture, aquaculture, poultry and nutrition and expressed the Netherlands government’s willingness to support Nigeria on its agricultural revolution to change the country from being a food importer to a food exporter.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has denied the claim by exporters in the airfreight business that the agency was charging N5,000 for every kilo of exported Agricultural produce.

A statement signed and released by the NAQS spokesperson, Dr Nwodo said that the agency did not demand or exact charges outside the approved fees under any circumstance, as it charges less than that amount for a full 20-feet container.

“For the avoidance of doubt, all user fees chargeable by the agency in connection with the export of plant, animal and aquatic items are clearly listed on the NAQS’s website. The comprehensive lists of the fees were first published in 2017 and they have remained accessible till date,” the agency said.

It added that the fees were integrated into the text of the agency’s Service Level Agreement as they are public documents found on their website links.

Source: The Guardian

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